UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Workforce Implications of Increased Referrals to Hereditary Cancer Services in Canada: A Scenario-Based Analysis Dragojlovic, Nick; Borle, Kennedy; Kopac, Nicola; Nisselle, Amy; Nuk, Jennifer; Jevon, Mandy; Friedman, J. M. (Jan Marshall), 1947-; Elliott, Alison M.; Lynd, Larry D.


Over the last decade, utilization of clinical genetics services has grown rapidly, putting increasing pressure on the workforce available to deliver genetic healthcare. To highlight the policy challenges facing Canadian health systems, a needs-based workforce requirements model was developed to determine the number of Canadian patients in 2030 for whom an assessment of hereditary cancer risk would be indicated according to current standards and the numbers of genetic counsellors, clinical geneticists and other physicians with expertise in genetics needed to provide care under a diverse set of scenarios. Our model projects that by 2030, a total of 90 specialist physicians and 326 genetic counsellors (1.7-fold and 1.6-fold increases from 2020, respectively) will be required to provide Canadians with indicated hereditary cancer services if current growth trends and care models remain unchanged. However, if the expansion in eligibility for hereditary cancer assessment accelerates, the need for healthcare providers with expertise in genetics would increase dramatically unless alternative care models are widely adopted. Increasing capacity through service delivery innovation, as well as mainstreaming of cancer genetics care, will be critical to Canadian health systems’ ability to meet this challenge.

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